When you work as a seaman, you are protected under specific federal laws. This includes the Jones Act, which provides protection to seamen who suffer injuries while working on a navigable ship or vessel.
Despite the fact that injured seamen have the right to Jones Act benefits, it is not unusual for employers to retaliate against seamen who attempt to obtain the benefits that they are entitled to. If this happens to you, you may need a respected Alabama Jones Act lawyer to help you get justice. Contact Fuquay Law at (251) 219-0329 to schedule a free consultation today where you can explore your legal options.
Your Rights Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that protects injured seamen in the event of an injury at work. You may be considered a seaman if you work on a ship or a vessel on or near the navigable waters. As an injured seaman, you have specific rights. To start, you have the right to maintenance and cure.
Maintenance refers to your daily living expenses. This might include your rent or mortgage payments, your utility expenses, groceries, and other necessary living costs. Cure refers to the full coverage of your medical expenses as they relate to your work injuries. These benefits should provide coverage both now and in the future for any treatment, prescriptions, medical equipment, and other relevant healthcare costs.
But that isn’t all. You also have the right to certain benefits when your employer‘s negligence is the cause of your injuries. Here, you can recover compensation for various types of economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of future potential earnings
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of society and support
- Scarring and disfigurement
Your employer may not be pleased when you decide to take legal action against them to recover the compensation that is rightfully yours. But it is your right to do so under the Jones Act. Your employer does not have the right to retaliate against you for taking legal action against them. But that does not mean that they will not retaliate. If they do, you need to be prepared to take action.
What to Do if Your Employer Retaliates Against You
Although Alabama is an “at will” state for employment, that does not mean that your employer has the right to retaliate against you for pursuing your rights under the Jones Act. As an injured seaman, you have the right to these benefits. And despite the fact that your award of these benefits may have a negative impact on your employer, your entire life has been affected by the injuries you’ve sustained.
This compensation is yours by right. And if your employer retaliates against you by terminating you, demoting you, or otherwise taking retaliatory action against you, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against them. Here, you could be awarded back pay and compensation for the other damages you sustained after being wrongfully terminated.
The fear of employer retaliation is often what prevents injured seamen from pursuing the compensation and benefits that they are entitled to. But if you have suffered serious injuries at work due to your employer’s negligence, as an injured seaman, you have the right to benefits under the Jones Act. Don’t let your employer get away with taking advantage of you. Take action to protect yourself and your future.
Get Help from a Jones Act Attorney Today
If you filed a Jones Act lawsuit in an attempt to seek the benefits that you are entitled to as an injured seaman, but your employer retaliated against you, you may have grounds for legal action against them. Reach out to an experienced Alabama Jones Act lawyer at Fuquay Law for help today.
Scheduling your no-cost, risk-free claim evaluation when you give our office a call at (251) 219-0329. Or fill out our quick contact form and we will reach out to you to find out more about your injuries and the ways in which your employer retaliated against you for pursuing benefits under the Jones Act.